Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press
With off season acquisition Yasiel Puig By entering its year of march, the Cincinnati Reds can expect great things from the former All-Star.
Alden Gonzalez, ESPN.com Group, describes in detail his work ethic, which will be very different from that of previous years, because it seeks to obtain a free lease agreement during the next season.
"I've never worked hard," Puig told Gonzalez. "Maybe that's the reason I did not have my best years.The last two years I have not worked hard because I still have a contract to do now, I think I will work hard more than any year in my life. "
Puig signed a contract of $ 42 million over seven years with the Los Angeles Dodgers in June 2012. He stormed the league by propelling his team to the rookie position by hitting .319 / .391 / .534 with 19 runs and 21 doubles with 42 runs produced in 104 games. This not only helped him to finish second in the National League rookie of the year, but he also received the votes of NL's most valuable player when he did not make his debut before the month of June.
He followed this excellent performance with another strong performance in 2014, when he won his first All-Star selection, earning $ 0.296 with 16 shots, 37 doubles, nine triples and 69 RBIs.
Since then, however, he has not had the easiest time in the big leagues. Its average fell to 0.255 in 2015 following a thigh injury. In 2016, he hit only 0.263 with 11 home runs, and he was finally downgraded to Triple-A for "improve it as a player and a person. "
Puig has responded to a tumultuous 2016 season by hitting 51 dingers in total over the last two seasons, including 28 in 2017, a career high. Its average, however, has not exceeded 0.267 in the last four years.
While his stay in Los Angeles was drawing to a close, the right-back's playing time was decreasing compared to Southpaws, as he had only managed an average of .209 against left-handers the season last.
Puig should have the opportunity to play every day in a Reds club looking for his first winning season since 2013. Whether in the center or in the left field, manager David Bell aims to register the name of Puig in the composition, which could bear fruit.
the off-season trade this sent Puig to Cincinnati provides a nice change of scenery for the impending free agent. Spacious Dodger Stadium is by no means a hitter's paradise. Great American Ball Park has been nicknamed "Great American Small Park" for a reason.
But do not expect money to be the only motivation for 28 year olds this year.
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"I feel the love of the city, the team and the love of having me here this season," Puig told Gonzalez. "I want to do my best to help the team win and give the best of myself and the game to all the fans and to the whole city." Thank the city for inviting me and me. Have given the opportunity to play this year, with a Cincinnati Reds uniform. "
Puig recently said MLB.com & # 39; s Mark Sheldon that he is ready to sign back with the Reds, saying that if General Manager Nick Krall "gives me money, I'll be here as many years as he wants" . Per Gonzalez, however, Puig seems to keep his options open, noting that his favorite color is red and that his second favorite is blue.
"These are the two colors that I want to be at home, in my closet – red or blue," Puig told Gonzalez. "There are a lot of red teams, there are a lot of blue teams, it's not just Cincinnati, not just the Dodgers, you know, maybe Texas, Anaheim. do not know, there are a lot of red teams, St. Louis Cardinals … I do not know, I can stay here, you never know. "
Puig's comments about not working hard until his year's march could lead teams to hesitate to make a long-term commitment to the talented star. However, if he has a big year for the Reds, he is certain that someone will pay him. After all, Manny Machado recently received $ 300 million, although he made it clear last year that he was not a "Johnny Hustle".